I have been asked to lecture at this years Ventarama convention on “Beginning Ventriloquism” I’m very excited and it’s going to be a great day. Beginners often ask me who is my favourite ventriloquist and as with most things it tends to be the ones you grew up with. The other question is about what sort of “figure” is the best? Well the answer to the first question is Ray Alan, with Shari Lewis coming a close second which kind of answers the second question with, there is no best figure. Ray used an expensive traditional “Doll” an Shari, well she used a sock!
Have you seen the National Trust list of things to do before you are 11 3/4? I was lucky enough to grow up on the North Cornish coast so my summers were full of outside fun. As I write this the sun is shining so I hope you all have a great summer and remember the sunscrean!
With so many entertainers on the internet how do you know which one to choose. Remember that this is a special occasion for your child, one that should give them lasting memories for all the right reasons. A great entertainer will turn up on time, looking professional and will have all the expertise needed to make it a great show.
I have seen and heard of magicians who turn up late, look scruffy, smell of alcohol or BO or both, act inappropriately with the children, aim jokes at the adults that they think go over the children’s heads, one entertainer might not have al these traits but how can you tell just from their web site?
Here are some questions to ask.
- Are they a professional? Full time entertainers have to take more care of their business as it’s their only source of income. If you are just getting a bit of extra “cash in hand” at the weekend then it is not so important.
- How long have they been professional? Experience counts, in my nearly 20 years of entertaining children I have seen and dealt with just about every scenario, I am constantly monitoring the children to see if the pace of the show needs changing and finding out who is the best child to pick to help for which trick.
- Do they belong to The Magic Circle? There are lots of local magic clubs that do a great job in promoting magic, I am the president of The Cotswold Magical Society but The Magic Circle is the only club that you have to pass a strict exam to become a member. The highest exam you can take make you an associate of The Inner Magic Circle with silver star. I am very honoured to have been awarded this in 2012.
- Do they have public liability insurance? If the magician knocks over your antique vase whilst bringing his props in to your house is he covered? I am a member of Equity and as a member I have £10 million pounds worth of cover.
- Testimonials? Obviously these can be made up but if they have several and they are not too old then it’s worth checking them out.
- How much should I pay? Like every thing in life there is a range of prices for children’s entertainers and most of the time you get what you pay for. A cheap entertainer might just be starting out, I was a lot cheeper 20 years ago! A lot of the money I earn gets put back into the business, keeping my equipment, props and puppets in the best order. I want my show to be the best experience for the audience and the booker, you will get a proper contract and invoice and I will do what has been quoted.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions about your event, please get in contact and I will do my best to help.
One of the question I get asked as a magician is “Where do you perform?” Well the simple answer is, “wherever they pay me to!” This week I will be performing for sick children in hospitals, the families of prisoners in an open prison, a group of pensioners at a care home and for hundreds of children in a huge indoor play space.
How far do you travel? The same rules apply. If you would like me to come and entertain the children at your Daughters wedding but the wedding is being held in Australia, it won’t be the same price as a wedding down the road but if you want me, I can be there!
That’s one of the great things about my job is I never know where i might end up working, I have done castles to cruise ships, village halls to village greens, festivals and school fairs. I hope to see you at one of these events soon.
There is a new muppet movie opening at the end of March! Everybody loves the Muppets.
I will be at The Brewery Cheltenham with Snot The Dragon to help promote it on Saturday the 29th. Come and say Hi.
So pleased to be heading back to Cornbury Festival this year, It’s a fantastic festival with a great line up. I will be posting more about what I will be doing on which days soon. If you are going make sure you came and say.
I will be there with Snot the Dragon and Friends.
I had a great evening with learning magic with Las Vegas magician Jeff McBride this week. Jeff is one of the best magicians in the world, he is also one of the best magical thinkers. I have so much to learn. Hopeful I will get to study with him some more in the future. He runs a magic school that is based in Las Vegas but occasionally happens in Cornwall. He hopes to bring it over again in 2016!
In a great competition full of fantastic magicians, I was very proud and pleased to have been awarded 1st place. This is now the fourth time I have won the cup equaling the record set by Darren Campbell.
Some of my favourite shows every month are the ones I do for POD. POD is a charity that put entertainers into children’s hospitals and hospices all over the uk. They organs over 200 shows a month. http://podchildrenscharity.com In some hospitals there is room to do a few magic show, sometimes it close up magic going from bed to bed at other times I make balloon models for the children waiting in out patients.
It’s great to put smiles on the faces of children who may have been there for months or they might just need a distraction for five minutes. Every visit costs £50, some of the money comes from Children in Need some comes from firms that might sponsor one or more visits a month. If you know of anyone who might be able to help please put them in touch.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
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- Carlos The Toucan
- Children’s Birthday Cake Ideas
- Children’s Magic Parties Featuring Snot The Dragon & Friends
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- Colin Dymond, Children’s Magician and Brilliant Ventriloquist
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